New Zealand

Amnesty urges urgent action by Australia, NZ on PNG covid surge

Hundreds of new confirmed Covid cases in the past few days have taken PNG's total number of cases to nearly 2,500.

Despite limited testing, the picture of high community transmission is becoming glaringly clear, particularly in the capital Port Moresby and other urban areas.

A proliferation of cases among health workers has only exacerbated the shortcomings of PNG's ailing health system in this time of crisis.

Pasifika health providers pivotal in vaccine roll-out says Aupito

The first priority group included border and managed isolation quarantine workers and their household contacts.

The second priority group are front-line health workers and people living in high-risk settings such as older people in South Auckland, people in residential care and older people particularly Māori and Pacific.

Aupito William Sio told RNZ Pacific that providers have trusted relationships with the communities they serve, and they will be able to identify and vaccinate the Pasifika elderly in their regions.

ANZ Bank to pay $280,000 over credit card insurance

The bank admitted breaches of the Financial Markets Conduct Act after the Financial Markets Authority filed proceedings in June last year.

The Authority said ANZ issued duplicate policies to some customers which provided no additional benefits.

It also failed to cancel policies for ineligible customers, while continuing to charge them.

The penalty was in line with the Authority's recommendation to the court.

     

PM makes alert level announcement for Auckland

Cabinet met this afternoon to decide whether the risk of Covid-19 spreading has diminished enough for Auckland to move to alert level 1.

Eight cases that had recently emerged had all been linked and close contacts of the mother of a family at the centre of the outbreak had all produced negative results, she said.

Cabinet had decided to make face coverings mandatory in all public transport across NZ at levels one and two.

Pasifika unemployment in NZ rising, report shows

The State of the Nation report shows Pasifika unemployment at 8.1 percent, up from 7.4 percent the previous year and nearly twice that of Pakeha at 4.3 percent.

Salvation Army lawyer and policy analyst Ronji Tanielu said the job losses that came with Covid-19 restrictions impacted a lot of Pasifika people.

"If you think about where Pasifika people are located in our industries, we're generally making up hospitality, manufacturing, even some tourism and those were some of the areas that were directly affected by the job losses because of Covid."

82 Ni-Vanuatu RSE workers prepare to leave for New Zealand

Tommy George from Emau is one of the workers.

He said this will be his seventh time working in NZ since the programme began.

George said he thinks resuming the RSE programme is a blessing as it will financially help many Ni-Vanuatu like him during these difficult times.

“It’s difficult to secure a job here with Covid-19 restrictions, but I am pleased that NZ and Vanuatu government have resumed the programme so we can return and help our families financially” said George in a NZ High Commission.

New venue announced for NZ's 2021 Nesian Festival

The event begun in 2007 to give the Pacific community in Hamilton; an annual Pacific festival; a Pacific early learning space; and a Pacific health service.

K'aute Pasifika is a charitable trust based in Hamilton, providing health, education and social services to Pasifika communities and other ethnicities.

The trust is also the organisers of the Nesian Festival and this year have announced that it will take place on Saturday 27 March 2021 and for the first time, it will be held at the University of Waikato sportsground.

Pasifika community urged to remain calm and compliant

Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2 after three community cases of Covid-19 were discovered.

Genomic sequencing revealed the cases were the UK variant of the virus and authorities were conducting contact tracing to try and determine the origin and extent of the latest outbreak.

Auckland Paediatrician, Teuila Percival, urged Pasifika communities to apply all the lessons learned from past outbreaks.

Australia stops quarantine-free travel for New Zealand after Covid-19 cases

The trans-Tasman bubble was set up so people could fly from New Zealand to Australia without needing to spend 14 days in a hotel.

However, Australia's expert medical panel made a decision late on Sunday night to change the system.

It means any New Zealanders that fly into Australia from Monday will have to spend a fortnight in hotel quarantine.

The new rule will remain in place for the next three days before the situation is reassessed.

NZ govt to discuss vaccine rollout in Pacific

Medical authorities in New Zealand have already approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for use to immunise people 16 years and older.

"We'll be really looking to have conversations with our counterparts in the Pacific around what might be possible with some of those trickier vaccines so that we can see similar levels of protection provided in the Pacific at the same time as we might be seeing that in New Zealand," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ardern said her government was also in discussions about how vaccine distribution will work in the Pacific.